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View Full Version : large format parts? for use in a digital camera camera enclosure



mattkime
25-Dec-2009, 20:39
i'm working on an enclosure for a time lapse project with a digital camera. i'm trying to figure out a controlled way to adjust the position of the camera within the enclosure. perhaps i could repurpose some large format camera parts to do the job.

any advice on relatively inexpensive parts? or even a kit? (is it possible?)

Jim Michael
25-Dec-2009, 20:47
Probably not enough info, but sounds like something for which you might use stepper motors and gears. McMaster-Carr might be a good source, or other sources used by those interested in robotics.

mattkime
25-Dec-2009, 21:30
McMAster-Carr looks interesting although i'm not sure how to find solutions to my problem.

I'm not looking for robotics. fingers can make the adjustments.

Jim Michael
26-Dec-2009, 07:08
Why don't you describe precisely what it it you're trying to do?

Gordon Moat
26-Dec-2009, 11:47
You might search EBAY for Arca Swiss or Linhof parts. Many of those can be found as geared movements, which hopefully would provide accurate control.

Other than that, you could go for Edmund Scientific. They offer lots of staged movement pieces and mounting blocks that are geared. Prices are perhaps a bit higher than used large format.

Bogen/Manfrotto also offer some geared camera mounts and tripod head. Depending upon accuracy or markings, those might work quite well for you.

el french
28-Dec-2009, 01:32
How many axes do you need to move the camera in: X, Y, Z, rotate horizontally, rotate vertically, etc.? How far on each axis do you need to move the camera?

XY focus rails are readily available on ebay if you only need to move it a few inches. If you need rotation, take a look at spherical pano heads like Nodal Ninja.

I used aluminum extrusions from http://www.8020.net (they also have an ebay outlet) to build an XYZ stage for macro photography.

Math
28-Dec-2009, 02:05
My solution for this is simple if you have it around, otherwise it might be too expensive: Lego! It's easy to build a small platform that is being turned, just add some small gears that turn larger gears and it'll go extremely slow. Or add a radial drive to make it even slower.

mattkime
29-Dec-2009, 11:56
the 8020 stuff looks great although i'd like to find something smaller.

i'll try to describe it in better detail -

inside the enclosure, i'd like to be able to move the camera in the following directions
- closer or further away from the window on the enclosure
- vertically, an inch or two
- tilting the camera up or down (not sure thats a good description) but this looks like it might take care of it -

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/554092-REG/Manfrotto_by_Bogen_Imaging_338_338_QTVR_Leveling_Base.html

I should also add that precision isn't necessarily as important as the ability to lock things down. The camera is likely to be positioned once. it may need to be serviced after that but hopefully a quick release plate will allow for easy removal and replacement with little camera movement.

Jim C.
29-Dec-2009, 22:55
It's possible, it depends on how much time, labor and money you want to invest in that rig.
For time lapse you want a solid rig, unless the jittery look is what you're after.

Sounds like you're looking for a positioning stage, mucho bucks.
http://www.edmundoptics.com/onlinecatalog/displayproduct.cfm?productid=1581

If precise positioning isn't paramount, and you're handy with tools
get a lab jack from eBay, which will give you the Y movement ( up /down )
XZ movements you would use a lead screw mounted to the lab jack at right angles,
one for your Z movement ( front / back ) and one for your X movement ( left / right)
with the lead screw you would have to make a frame to support the lead screw and the rods
that would be guide rails, and build a stage to support the lead screws and camera stage.

Or

in place of building the XZ movement mech, get two macro bellows units from the 'Bay
the rack and pinion movement is all there, just ditch the bellows and mount them to the lab jack.

el french
30-Dec-2009, 02:02
the 8020 stuff looks great although i'd like to find something smaller.

i'll try to describe it in better detail -

inside the enclosure, i'd like to be able to move the camera in the following directions
- closer or further away from the window on the enclosure
- vertically, an inch or two
- tilting the camera up or down (not sure thats a good description) but this looks like it might take care of it -

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/554092-REG/Manfrotto_by_Bogen_Imaging_338_338_QTVR_Leveling_Base.html

I should also add that precision isn't necessarily as important as the ability to lock things down. The camera is likely to be positioned once. it may need to be serviced after that but hopefully a quick release plate will allow for easy removal and replacement with little camera movement.

A pan and tilt head mounted on a 4 way focus rail like this, http://cgi.ebay.com/4way-Macro-focus-Rail-Slider-For-Canon-MP-E-65mm-bg06_W0QQitemZ280442549018QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_DefaultDomain_0?hash=item414badb31a, will give you all the movements except vertical. Since you're only positioning it once, the vertical could be done with shims or blocks.

I'd probably just mount the pan and tilt head on a piece of exterior grade plywood, position the camera, and screw it all down to the floor of the enclosure.

ethics_gradient
30-Dec-2009, 11:02
I think I remember hearing about reasonably priced automatic ones used for amateur astronomy (telescopes tracking stars in the night sky) being re-purposed for this kind of application.

mattkime
30-Dec-2009, 21:19
>>A pan and tilt head mounted on a 4 way focus rail like this, http://cgi.ebay.com/4way-Macro-focus...item414badb31a, will give you all the movements except vertical. Since you're only positioning it once, the vertical could be done with shims or blocks.

oooo! perfect!

Lightbender
2-Jan-2010, 15:25
Why not put a 4 way macro rail on top of a tripod with a geared column?

You get the left/right and forward/back movements from the rail. The tripod head gives you pan and tilt, and geared center column will give you controlled rise/fall.

One problem with this rig though is that your movements will not be center axis.
For yaw-free movements, you would need something with a fork, like a cambo camera, or an L shape, like a horseman LE. By using just the front standard on its rail, you can get pan/tilt and forward/back. Put that on a tripod with geared center column and wheels and you get all the movements you want.

Bob Salomon - HP Marketing
2-Jan-2010, 16:29
Why not put a 4 way macro rail on top of a tripod with a geared column?

You get the left/right and forward/back movements from the rail. The tripod head gives you pan and tilt, and geared center column will give you controlled rise/fall.

One problem with this rig though is that your movements will not be center axis.
For yaw-free movements, you would need something with a fork, like a cambo camera, or an L shape, like a horseman LE. By using just the front standard on its rail, you can get pan/tilt and forward/back. Put that on a tripod with geared center column and wheels and you get all the movements you want.

You get yaw free movements when the tilt axis is below the swing axis. Doesn't matter if it is a base tilt or axis tilt, base, L or U support. All that matters is where the tilt and swing pivots are. Not the rise or shift controls.

What you are proposing is what Linhof used on their studio cameras for decades, direct displacements rather then indirect displacements. A level camera used with rise and shift movements rather then an inclined camera used with tilt and swing controls, is always yaw-free. The limiting factor is how large a circle the lens will cover.

Bob Salomon - HP Marketing
2-Jan-2010, 16:33
A pan and tilt head mounted on a 4 way focus rail like this, http://cgi.ebay.com/4way-Macro-focus-Rail-Slider-For-Canon-MP-E-65mm-bg06_W0QQitemZ280442549018QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_DefaultDomain_0?hash=item414badb31a, will give you all the movements except vertical. Since you're only positioning it once, the vertical could be done with shims or blocks.

I'd probably just mount the pan and tilt head on a piece of exterior grade plywood, position the camera, and screw it all down to the floor of the enclosure.

That would never support the weight or move far enough in any direction for large format. You would need something more like this:
http://www.novoflex.com/en/products/macro-accessories/focusing-racks/castel-cross/